Magazine article American Banker

Founder Trying to Put Compass on the Block

Magazine article American Banker

Founder Trying to Put Compass on the Block

Article excerpt

Dissident board members of Compass Bancshares, led by the company's founder, have launched a bid to put the bank up for sale.

Harry B. Brock Jr., who founded the Birmingham, Ala.-based Compass in 1963 and served as its chairman until 1991, has formed a committee with two other Compass directors to back the election of three new directors who "favor seeking a tax-free stock swap with a much larger company."

Mr. Brock's announcement confirms rumors that he has been trying to force a sale. Mr. Brock owns 2.4% of Compass stock, the largest individual holding.

In a telephone conversation Friday, Mr. Brock said the Compass board had rejected a buyout offer of $31 a share.

He declined to name the "much larger" bank.

"I wouldn't be doing this if they hadn't turned down a deal I thought we should have been looking at." Mr. Brock said.

Chairman and CEO D. Paul Jones Jr., also interviewed Friday, said the board is not inclined to sell the $9. …

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